View Full Version : legality of silencers

06-30-2004, 11:22 AM
recently I have heard that you have to pay a $200 tax on airsoft silencers because of some sort of law that was put into place. Is this really true?
All I want is a fairly strong (non plastic) silencer to cover an oversized barrel that I may install.
The silencing ability doesn't matter to me as long as I don't have to pay $200 and the unit is fairly rigid.

06-30-2004, 11:31 AM
Who told you that???

That's the first I have heard of any such thing.

06-30-2004, 11:33 AM
There have been rumblings I've read in the past about potential issues since Airsoft silencers/suppressors can have foam in them and can be disassembled. Nothing concrete that I've seen. There are no laws however that I know of. DrNo or Katana would be able to cover this subject with actual knowledge, so perhaps they'll chime in.

06-30-2004, 11:36 AM
Agro, I heard in the airsoftplayers forum and here:

06-30-2004, 11:46 AM
Agro, I heard in the airsoftplayers forum and here:

I didn't notice any statement there that said anything about owning one, unless it is buried in the other laws referenced. I only saw this:

An individual wishing to manufacturer a firearm silencer must receive prior approval from ATF by submitting an ATF Form 1 and paying a $200 making tax.

They must have forgotten about their spell-checker. ;)

06-30-2004, 12:37 PM
ah, i guess that solves everything. Now, where in the USA would you suggest getting a silencers? Does any place have a large selection of different sizes and types?

06-30-2004, 12:45 PM

Take a look at Generation Airsoft and Combat Depot. Airsoftplus can get you what you want, usually for a lower price, but they may need to order it.

06-30-2004, 12:47 PM
Thanks Wolv :)

06-30-2004, 02:35 PM

I wouldn't ask unless you're prepared to accept the consequences of the answers. It's a complicated and convoluted topic that's fairly well camouflaged in legaleze. I have not actually done the research myself, as my dealings with the NFA have been on issues such as SBR's, AOW's, etc... not suppressors. I've heard all kinds of things, including that if it's got foam in it, or it can be disassembled, it's not good.

BTW, as a side note, if you've got to register to make it, you can be pretty sure you'd have to register to own one like it. And that might not even be possible.

Generally, I would say that it isn't a problem unless it's a problem. If you think you're in a situation where you might need to know if it's going to be an issue or not, I'd assume it's an issue and not go there.

In the end, the only way to kinda know for sure is to send a request for a ruling to the ATF, and await their reply. Unless you get it straight from them, I wouldn't trust it. Even if you do get it straight from them, I'd make photo-copies of the ruling and store them in a safe place. Sure it seems paranoid, but if you'd concerned enough to ask, then you should know that the penalties for trampling with Federal firearm laws are a real horror story.

06-30-2004, 08:28 PM
Ok, what he mentioned about the form and $200 tax involving atf stuff... blah blah blah. This is if you were to buy a "real" silencer for a firearm.

06-30-2004, 09:07 PM
Ok, what he mentioned about the form and $200 tax involving atf stuff... blah blah blah. This is if you were to buy a "real" silencer for a firearm.

no, its about airsoft and paintball silencers it says so above the thing about them.

anyway, its only if your manufacturing them so its all done and done and setteled.

06-30-2004, 10:33 PM
Actually, the whole point of my reply was that what we think are real suppressors and what the ATF thinks are real suppressors aren't necessarily the same thing.

To clarify: some of the airsoft suppressors out there which are made only to screw onto a 6mm airsoft replica are still considered 'real' suppressors by the ATF due to their construction or certain qualities that they have.

I went on to say that the $200 dollar fee wouldn't just apply to manufacturing one of the suppressor types meant for airsoft that happened to meet enough certain criteria that the ATF would classify it as a restricted item, but would also apply to the purchase of the same type of suppressor (under a different form of course, providing it is even purchaseable). What I have read so far is not everything and I may even have misunderstood some things, but at the moment I would be disinclined to purchas a suppressor replica that contains foam, and particularly suppressor replicas that can be disassembled (in a way so that you can place sound deadening materials inside them).

As for the manufacturing comment, note that if the ATF considers it restricted, it's restricted to both manufacture AND own, under various regs.

07-01-2004, 12:25 AM
I understand your concern and recognize that there could be criteria laid out by the BATF that help to clarify if a silencer is a true ..."silencer"... however, i don't think any of teh airsoft silencers out there would be able to handle the heat and/or pressure given off by a firearm.

So, while i know no one wants to room with Bubba over at Club Fed i think all of this commotion was made because of some stupid comment someone made on another forum. Just my opinion though.

07-01-2004, 09:43 AM
Darwin award competitors listen up; I have no illusions about being able to use an airsoft suppressor to quiet a real firearm. Don't try it if you value all of your fingers.

However, I don't think having to survive more than a single shot are one of the ATF's criteria.

07-01-2004, 09:48 AM
The thing I read on the BATF site said it qualifies as a supressor if it reduces muzzle report by 1 dB for 1 shot.

07-01-2004, 10:43 AM
Heh. Their regs give me a headache! :)

07-01-2004, 12:24 PM
I am more than sure that many airsoft silencers would work on .22lr pistols. Or air pellet guns. Coke bottles taped to the ends of weapons are silencers. So are potatoes stuck on the end of a .45. Yeah, they may not work long, but they only have to go bang once ...


07-01-2004, 01:48 PM
Thats why I always carry a 10 pound bag of russet potatoes in my trunk. :D

07-01-2004, 02:22 PM
So THAT's why. I was going to ask, but was afraid it was a stupid question. :)

07-01-2004, 02:33 PM
I thought that was because you just wanted something to munch on with that Hydralite when at skirmishes....... :D

09-15-2004, 04:33 PM
I have a P-90 TR and it comes with a silencer and customs didnt do anything and i had no tax therefore nothing wrong.No tax no law and i got it over seas.

09-15-2004, 04:48 PM
Well, I *think* it's a smidge more reasonable to reach any one of several conclusions.

a) they didn't inspect your package
b) they didn't find the suppressor
c) the inspector doing the inspection didn't think anything was wrong with it
d) there actually isn't anything wrong with it

Any single one or any logical combination of those possibilities could be true. Remember, customs inspectors are people too, and their knowledge of the law is just as fallible as yours or mine. Also, if they're super busy, they might not get to as many packages as they normally do, etc.

IE, try not to read *too* much into the fact that you received your items. I don't know if we'll know for sure unless we package up one of these things, send it to ATF, and ask for a ruling. And even then, enforcement will wax and wane depending on all kinds of things, although you could possibly use the results of the ruling to work through the system if your stuff was impounded.